Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I have fallen off the posting train! But I’m trying to get back on board. It’s been a busy and fun fall, which means I have neglected this little hobby of mine. But this cake was too good not to share! I had a fun Oktober fest at a new friends house. It was outdoors on the perfect chilly, but lovely October night. They had grilled up two whole lambs, and brewed some homemade beer, and then invited a bunch of people over to share.

I decided to try out a new cake recipe. It’s pumpkin season and this cake did not disappoint. It has a mix of butter and oil for flavor and moisture with the perfect amount of fall spices. It baked up beautifully and came out of the pan easily. I topped with a simple yogurt glaze which had just enough tang to perfectly compliment the rich and sweet cake. Happy Fall!

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The original recipe had a cream cheese glaze. I didn’t have any cream cheese so I ended up making something up on my own. I didn’t measure anything so I can’t tell you exactly, but I used melted butter, milk, powdered sugar and plain Greek yogurt. I turned out great, but if you’re looking for exact measurements, follow the link to the original recipe and try hers out, I’m sure it’s great!

 
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Pumpkin Bundt Cake
From Style Sweet CA
Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon clove

  • pinch black pepper

  • ¾ cup Land O Lakes® European Style Unsalted Butter, softened

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ¼ cup flavorless oil, like grapeseed or canola

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 14 ounces pumpkin puree

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Generously brush the inside of a Bundt pan with very soft butter, sprinkle with flour, and tap out the excess. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in both sugars and mix on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in the eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the buttermilk and mix until combined. Add in the remaining half of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and few streaks of flour remain visible. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan. Tap the bottom of the filled pan on a hard work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a long wooden skewer or thin paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Gently loosen the edges of the cake with a flexible rubber spatula. Place a wire rack or cutting board on top of the cake. Holding on to the edges of the pan and rack, carefully invert everything. Remove the cake pan and continue to completely cool the cake before adding the glaze.

Peach Yogurt Cake

August is now officially over, which means peach season is going to be winding down soon. Excuse me while I shed a tear or two. While I try to eat most things only when in season, there are times when I bend this rule. However, with peaches I am very strict. I will not buy peaches at any other time of year except in late summer. There is nothing as disappointing as biting into a beautiful golden peach and hearing a crunch, and find yourself looking at a dry, hard and very sad piece of fruit. Peaches just don't do well at all out of season. 

To celebrate these golden beauties for a little longer, Lara whipped together a light and delicious peach cake to bring to a friends house this weekend. We enjoyed it after feasting on grilled pizzas, hot and bubbly right off the grill. It was the perfect way to end a late summer Saturday night. 

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The original recipe called for figs instead of peaches, and then had you swirling mascarpone and jam into the batter before baking. This sounds absolutely divine, but unfortunately I had neither, and was not making another trip to the store so I ended up with a simpler version of the cake with only some chopped peaches. It was still absolutely wonderful, but if you're looking for something with just a bit more pizazz, I would definitely give the mascarpone and jam a try!

This cake baked up nice and tall, and had a lovely tender crumb. Nice and moist, and really not super sweet at all which I really like. It would be fantastic with some lightly whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream! Next time!

 
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Peach Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 peaches, chopped

Directions
Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch wide and 3-inch tall cake pan and lightly dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Whisk in the vanilla or almond extract.

Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve. Serve plain or with sweetened whipped cream.

Buckwheat Applesauce Breakfast Cake

Cake for breakfast? Always a good idea in my book. While this recipe is not a cake in the traditional sense, light, airy and super rich, it kind of has an indulgent feel when topped with a yummy yogurt almond frosting. It's not a very sweet cake - dense and hearty in texture, yet still super moist thanks to the applesauce. The buckwheat flour really adds a unique dimension in both flavor and texture. There is a lovely bitterness to this cake from this flour which I love, but might take a little getting used to. And because buckwheat is not "wheat", it behaves differently in baking. It results in a cake that is almost a little sandy in texture, and more dense than a traditional baked good. 

I adapted the recipe (because I just can't help myself!). The original used almond flour in addition to the buckwheat, and coconut oil. I replace these with whole wheat flour and butter instead. This likely altered the texture somewhat but in the end I loved the results, so it doesn't really matter! I also used some liquid whey (leftover from homemade yogurt) instead of almond milk, but I'm sure buttermilk would also work Finally, I adjusted the spices somewhat based on my preferences, and the time of year and replaced the molasses with maple syrup along the same vein. Overall, this dense, somewhat bitter but very interesting "cake", topped with a healthy yogurt and almond butter frosting ticks all the right buttons for me. The most important thing being that it's delicious. In the end that's all that really matters!

Buckwheat Applesauce Breakfast Cake
Adapted from Edible Perspective
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c buckwheat flour (150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or liquid whey
  • 2/3 cup (170 grams) unsweetened applesauce, I used homemade (alternatively, can use several cups of grated apple, somewhere around 250 grams, the recipe is very forgiving)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons (60 grams) maple syrup (or honey)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350* F and line a 9x9 pan with parchment, or grease thoroughly.  Stir the buckwheat flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed.  In another bowl whisk the eggs together.  Then whisk in the milk, applesauce, vanilla, butter and maple syrup until fully combined.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into your pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 38-40 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.  You want the toothpick to be slightly sticky, not gooey or dry.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, or with almond butter frosting (recipe below). 

Almond Butter Frosting
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • couple shakes of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Directions
Mix together the almond butter and Greek yogurt until well combined and smooth. Add in the maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavorings if desired, adding a little more almond butter if it is too tangy, a little more yogurt if it is too thick, or a little extra maple syrup if you want it a little sweeter. Spoon frosting onto each slice of cake, or spread in an even layer over the top of each piece. 

Autumn Rose Wedding Cake

I had a fabulous night last night celebrating the wedding of my friend Corrie and her now (new) husband Jon. I have known Corrie for my entire life and am so glad that I still count her as a good friend. Our families have so made so many memories together, camping at Lake Michigan, swimming in her family's pool on many hot summer days, family vacations to Iowa, Kentucky and Florida together, and so much more. I was so excited when she asked if I would be willing to make a small cake for her and Jon to cut at their wedding. This was the perfect way for me to be a part of her special day!

It was so much fun to put this delicious cake together. If you've been following my blog, you might notice that this cake looks similar to the cake I made for my birthday last month. That was by design! On my birthday I decided to do a little test run of the cake I was thinking of making for her wedding. Happily my birthday cake turned out so well that I wasn't too nervous about how the wedding cake would turn out. I made the exact same recipe for the cake and frosting this time, but multiplied them both by 1.5 because I wanted three layers instead of two. It worked great! A beautiful triple layer chocolate cake covered it stunning fresh flowers. A fabulous cake to celebrate a fabulous couple!

Find the recipe for the cake and frosting HERE. If you want a triple layer cake like you see here, multiply all the ingredients by 1.5, use 3 cake pans instead of two and you'll be good to go!

Lavender Cupcakes with Blueberry Jam and Lemon Buttercream

Last week one of my cousins had a baby shower, and for this event I was asked if I would be willing to make cupcakes as one of the desserts. Always one of my favorite things to make, of course I said yes! I was so excited to have a reason to make cake, and also excited when I found out that creative liberties were being handed to me. The mother-to-be's sister, another one of my cousins, said that she didn't care what kind of cupcakes they were. All she wanted to be able to do was finish them off with some mustache cupcake toppers to match the shower theme, easy enough!

After brainstorming some ideas with Lara we came up with a game plan. I wanted to do lavender cupcakes because the lavender just popped out the last few weeks and I'm loving it! Delicious and seasonal. We thought lemon sounded like a nice combination with the lavender so lemon buttercream was decided for the frosting, and to finish them off with something a little extra special we decided to fill them with a little blackberry jam. Lavender, lemon and blackberry, how could it be bad? 

To answer the above question; it couldn't be bad, and it wasn't! If fact, this may be my favorite cupcake flavor combination yet. They turned out fabulously, the lavender flavor came through very mildly which is what I wanted - I didn't want a cupcake that smelled or tasted like perfume or potpourri. The buttercream was perfectly tart and sweet from the lemon, and the blueberry filling really put it all over the top. Could you skip it, sure, but I don't think they'll be as good!! :) 

 
 

Lavender Cupcakes with Blueberry Jam
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers
  • 2 1/4 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (9 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 7/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened, cut into small cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Blueberry jam, for filling

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line cupcake pan(s) with liners.

Place the milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until simmering. Remove from microwave and add the lavender flowers to the milk, stirring to combine. Let milk sit and cool for about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined. 

Once the milk has cooled to around room temperature, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the flowers. Add half of the strained milk and beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the remaining milk, and beat for another 30 seconds.

Fill prepared muffin pans ⅔ full with batter, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans for a couple of minutes, than transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, take a sharp knife and cut out a cone shaped wedge of cake from the top of each cupcake forming a little well. Place a spoonful of blueberry jam into each well. Frost with lemon buttercream (recipe below). 

Yields: 18 cupcakes

Lemon Buttercream
From Delectably Mine
Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups (20 ounces) powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt and lemon zest to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes. 

* Note: I wanted a little more stable frosting since it was hot out. After a quick internet search, seemed like a lot of people use a 1:2 ratio of fat to sugar so that's what we did. Worked great, a nice stiff frosting that held up well. The final frosting is very sweet this way, so if it's not as hot I would probably not use this high of a ratio of sugar to butter, but it definitely worked great for this situation!

Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread

We had our Christmas party for my mom's side of the family yesterday. It was a wonderful time of food, conversation and festivities! I had such a fun time seeing everyone and catching up on what is going on in everyone's lives. Of course I offered to supply a few dishes to the lunch menu along with a few other family members. Everything turned out deliciously from the roasted beef tenderloin provided by my grandma to the salads and desserts brought by everyone else. My contribution to the dessert table this year was a rich and dark gingerbread cake that I had spotted on Smitten Kitchen some time ago. It had intrigued me, but until now I had never had the opportunity to make it. Gingerbread is not really something you can make year round so I was excited to have the opportunity to try it out. 

I ended up loving the cake. It really does pack a punch of flavor thanks to the oatmeal stout, the dark molasses, and the 2 tablespoons of ground ginger. It is an intense cake, definitely not for the faint at heart. A scoop of ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream are the perfect accompaniment. I think a simple lemon glaze or some lemon curd would also be wonderful options. If you're looking for something different from the typical sugar cookies or chocolate cake this Christmas, give this cake a try, it will be difficult to forget. 

Other than needing to go out and buy a few extra ingredients to make this cake (the stout and the dark molasses) there was nothing difficult about this cake. I mixed it all together by hand, didn't even need a mixer thanks to the use of oil. It came together easily and baked up beautifully, perfectly done at 50 minutes, exactly as the recipe said. 

From what I read about this cake, it is very prone to stick to the pan so I heeded all the advice I read and made sure to butter and flour my bundt pan very, very throughly. It seemed to work as I didn't have really any sticking at all. However, my bundt pan is pretty new and releases cakes easily. My old bundt pan was notorious for having cakes stick and come out in two or more pieces, not so pretty. But regardless of how nice your pan is, I'd advise making sure you spend a little extra time greasing and flouring it up before pouring the batter in. It would be so disappointing to have this cake fall apart on it's way out of the pan. 

Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread

From 

Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
  • 1 cup dark molasses (NOT blackstrap)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Very, very, generously butter a bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. This cake will stick badly if pan is not thoroughly greased. 

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream or ice cream.

Do ahead: I'm told this gingerbread is even better if made a day ahead. I made mine 2 days ahead and it was fantastic. I didn't try it freshly baked, but it didn't appear to suffer at all in the 2 day wait. 

Thomas Train 2nd Birthday Cupcakes

Just a couple of weeks ago my nephew turned 2 years old. It's amazing how fast he's grown. (Check out his first birthday here). All of a sudden it seems like he is talking nonstop and running around everywhere, it's so much fun, and super cute! My sister-in-law Lindsey once again asked Lara and I if we would be willing to make some cupcakes for his birthday party. Of course I said yes! It's only one of my all time favorite reasons to bake. I love baking cakes and cupcakes for birthdays and other special occasions. They are so fun to make, and can be so festive and celebratory. 

Since the theme of the birthday party was going to be Thomas the Tank Engine she asked that we just make a couple dozen cupcakes of any flavor and frost them simply with red and blue frosting to match the theme. This was simple enough to do of course. I just went to my trusty Martha cookbook,

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

 and picked out her yellow and a chocolate cupcake recipes and whipped them together. Simple and delicious! Lara frosted them in the Thomas blue and red and then Linsey finished them off with some super cute Thomas flags. I think they turned out adorable, and at the party Lindsey had them arranged as the cars of a Thomas train, super cute. It was a wonderful party and a great way to celebrate Tyce's second birthday!

Yellow Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together to blend well and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into lined cupcake pan. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17-18 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. 

Yields: 12-14 cupcakes

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100g) dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and line or spray two standard 12-cup muffin pans. 

Sift into the mixer bowl: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. 

Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. The batter is quite runny and if you overfill them they can make a mess as they rise in the oven. 

Bake, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pan for a little bit and then transfer onto a wire rack or board to cool completely.

Yields: 14-16 cupcakes

Simple Mocha Snack Cake

I'm of the opinion that simple is almost always best. This is true in every aspect of my life, but where it especially rings true is with food. I don't need fancy meals or outrageous desserts, all I ever want is  high quality ingredients put together in such a way as truly make something magical. It's amazing what you can do with only a few things, as long as these ingredients are high in flavor and pair well together. 

This chocolate cake is an example of such simple pleasures. The recipe may not look like anything special, but it's put together perfectly to result in a simple yet satisfying chocolate cake. It's a very light cake, but full of flavor and the perfect afternoon snack or simple dessert, exactly what I love. 

There's no actual chocolate, and very little cocoa, in this cake, so I didn't feel as though I could call it a chocolate cake. However, add a little espresso powder and you've got yourself a delightful mocha cake. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, or topped with some macerated berries, it's a wonderful little cake. 

Simple Mocha Cake

Adapted from 

Drizzle and Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 60 grams butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the first 3 ingredients (the cocoa powder, sugar, milk and espresso powder) into a small pot and bring it to the boil and allow to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. 

With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg yolks one at a time ensuring they are well mixed before the next addition, then add the vanilla. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and beat until well combined and lightened in color.

Add the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk, beating until just combined after each addition.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the cake by hand. Transfer batter to an 8-inch greased cake pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until springy to the touch. Allow to cool and then remove from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.